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National Academies


The National Academies receive government funding for specific projects and programmes, principally to allow a cadre of the most capable academics to work full-time on research.

BIS is responsible for government sponsorship of three of the UK’s independent National Academies: the Royal Society (natural and physical sciences), the British Academy (humanities and social sciences) and the Royal Academy of Engineering. These bodies:

  • receive government funding for specific projects and programmes, principally to allow a cadre of the most capable academics to work full-time on research. This helps to maintain excellence in the UK’s research base, and to secure future economic returns from our investment in science;
  • help to develop research links and collaborations with the best researchers overseas, particularly in regions of strategic importance to the UK;
  • are an important source of authoritative, impartial advice. Their independent policy studies make an important contribution to the evidence base for public policy making;
  • are increasingly working in collaboration, e.g. cross-disciplinary policy advice. On engineering issues, the Royal Academy of Engineering is increasingly working in collaboration with other leading engineering organisations;
  • are working with government and other partner organisations to promote the STEM agenda and public engagement with science and engineering.

The Academy of Medical Sciences – which receives core funding from the Department of Health in support of running costs – and the Royal Society of Edinburgh – which enjoys a comparable relationship with the Scottish Executive, including grant funding for research fellowships – are also recognised within the science community as National Academies but do not receive funding from BIS.

Minister responsible

David Willetts is the minister responsible for this policy area.


 

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